By Cahn, Wampold & Co
The Gist-of-Things Library Vol. II
Quickly stated definitions gleaned from
technical dictionaries and other books,
and that current trade lingo that no
book has yet set forth.
V'i oJ^Ji-n^ . tJ . "Ki
CAHN, WAMPOLD & CO.
CHICAGO, ILL., U.S.A., 190
'T'HE first thing that a
business man should
know, is — the little things of his
There is nothing scholarly in
this book of short easy helps
to that which every clothing
maker, buyer, seller and handler
should know, but nine times
out of ten does not know.
This is only a book intended
for quick reference rather than
thoroughness; it is not even
complete; but, such as it is,
the compilation is reliable. Go
to the encyclopedia for
accomplished a great deal if this
sends you to the encyclopedia.
Not one of us knows as much
as we might upon the familiar
aspects of our trade.
[ 3 ]
Acid Test — A general term employed to
designate a means of determining the
quality of anything, fabrics for instance ;
as boiling a piece of suspected cloth in
a solution of potash, in which the wool
or silk is consumed, but any cotton
therein remains ; testing the color of
indigo with a mixture of acetic and
sulphuric acids ; etc. For more
exhaustive explanations see any good
Agraffe — An ornamental clasp, loop or
Albert — See Prince Albert.
Albert Cloth — Reversible all-wool
materials, each side of different colors,
and so finished that no lining is
required ; used chiefly for overcoats ;
better known as "golf cloth," "plaid-back
Alizarine — An absolutely fast color dye
substance, formerly obtained from
madder root, but now in large quantities
from anthracene, a coal-tar product.
Alpaca — A thin, glistening, double-fold
fabric, with a fine cotton warp ; made
from the curly hair of an animal of the
camel tribe, found in South America.
Armure — A cloth woven in miniature
imitation of feudal metal armor plates,
[ 5 ]
heraldic devices, diamonds, birdseye and
Astrakhan — A woolen or silk material
with a long and closely curled pile in
imitation of the fur.
Backed Cloth — Worsteds or other fabrics
which are woven with an extra layer of
warp or filling underneath the face
fabric, usually for increased weight and
Backshop — A tailor's workshop.
Bannockburn — A sort of tweed.
Barrackan — In Mediterranean countries a
camel's-hair cloth for men's wear ; in
England a sort of moleskin. Also
Basket Weave — Cloth woven in imitation
of basket work.
Bastard — Any fabric woven in imitation
of better and more expensive.
Bath Robe — A long gown for wear
between bath room and dressing room.
Batting — Cotton or wool prepared in sheets
for quilting or interlining ; see padding,
Beaver — Similar to Kersey, but with
longer nap ; soft, thick nap inside.
Beau — A man devoted to the care and
adornment of his person and to matters
of social etiquette ; a dandy ; a fop.
[ 6 ]
Beaverteen — A sort of heavy cotton terry
cloth used for men's hunting garments.
Bedford Cord — A close-woven woolen
cloth, having a raised corded surface,
similar to pique.
Belt — A strap or band worn around the
Belt Straps — Loops or straps sewn at
intervals around the waist of trousers,
for the insertion and the holding in
place of a belt, the object being to
dispense with suspenders.
Bias — Diagonally.
Bishop — Trade term for extra length
overcoats for tall men.
Blazer — A light summer coat, most
frequently of flannel and in bright
Blind-Eye — A practically indistinguishable
loop, hand made of thread.
Blood — A gallant.
Blouse — A sort of loose overshirt or
Body Coat — A dress coat ; a close-fitting
coat ; a livery coat.
Boucle — A loosely woven fabric with a
curly hair surface, frequently made with
jersey or stockinet body.
Bourette — An effect of weaving produced
by fancy yarns showing in lumps at
intervals over the face of the cloth.
Bournous — A long woolen cloak, with
hood, worn by men in the Orient.
[ 7 ]
BowLEGGED — Parenthetical.
BoxcLOTH — Similar to Pilot cloth, thick
and fulled, with Kersey face.
Box Coat — A short, loose-fitting topcoat;
coachman's driving coat.
Braid — A narrow band or tape made of
plaited silk, wool or cotton ; of various
Brandenburgs — Long, narrow, ornamental
buttons, of silk or wool, on a wooden
mold ; used chiefly on military overcoats.
Breeches — Knee trousers.
Brilliantine — See Mohair.
Broadcloth — A very fine woolen cloth
with a glossy finished surface, the better
grades being made with a twilled back.
Broadfalls — See "front falls."
Buck — A dandy.
Buckle — A fastening device.
Buckram — A coarse, heavy, plain-woven
linen or cotton material used for
Buckskin — A stout doeskin with a more
Bushelman — A tailor or workman who
does alteration and repair work.
Butternut — The coarse brown homespun
cloths and jeans woven prior to the
civil war. Colored brown with dye
from the butternut tree.
Button — A catch of various forms and
materials for fastening the various parts
of a garment. See encyclopedia.
[ 8 ]
Camelshair — An extremely soft and silky
fabric usually woven like cheviot.
Canonicals — Clergymen's official clothing,
as prescribed by canon.
Canton Flannel — A stout twilled cotton
cloth with a nap on one or both sides.
Canvas — A heavy linen or cotton cloth of
Cape — Circular covering for the shoulders ;
the inside yoke of a coat.
Cape Coat — An overcoat with a cape and
with or without sleeves. See Inverness.
Cardigan Jacket — A close fitting ribbed
woolen or worsted body jacket, with or
Card — To comb out or dress.
Carding — The process of opening up the
fibre of wool, flax, hemp, silk, etc., for
the purpose of cleaning them of foreign
matter and rendering the material fine
and soft preparatory to spinning it into
Cassimere — A general term for all-wool
fabrics woven either plain or twilled,
coarse or fine, of "woolen" yarn. The
pattern is always woven in plain and
distinct, and the cloth is never napped.
Cassock — A long clerical coat ; a military
Castor Beaver — A heavy, milled,
face-finished, all-wool cloth, a little
lighter in weight than ordinary beaver.
Check — A small plaid design made by
different colors, crossing at right angles.
Chesterfield — A single-breasted, fly-front
overcoat, of medium length, plain back ;
also a cutaway frock coat for stout men,
with four buttons, the top one only used.
Cheviot — A twill-woven, rough-finished
Chevron — In weaving, a pattern
characterized by zigzag lines or stripes ;
Chinchilla — A thick, heavy, double
woven fabric, with a long napped surface
"Curled up into little tufts in imitation of
Chin-Latch — A small placket for closing
the aperture of a turned-up coat collar.
Clan Tartan — The plaids of the various
highland clans of Scotland.
Clawhammer — See full dress.
Clay — A name given to serges, worsteds
and diagonals woven after the process of
J. & B. Clay, of Huddersfield, England.
Clerk — An absolutely impeccable
Clothier — One who sells ready-to-wear
Coat — The principal garment of men's
Coating — Those woolen and worsted
fabrics most particularly adapted to
men's dress and overcoats.
Collar — The neckband of a coat ; a
detachable linen neckpiece, etc.
Color Test — General term for the various
means of determining the purity or
fastness of colors, which may be by
means of exposure, washing, chemical
processes, etc. See encyclopedia.
Combing — The process of arranging the
fibers of wool, mohair, silk, cotton, etc.,
into a parallel condition and of equal
length, preparatory to spinning into a
smooth, even and regular yarn ; the
perfected application of the carding
Cope — An ecclesiastical vestment of silk
Corduroy — A thick cotton pile material,
corded or ribbed on the surface.
Corkscrew Worsted — So called from its
fancied resemblance to the twists of the
Cotton Test — See Acid Test. There are
also microscopic and other tests. See
Cotton Worsted — All cotton or part
cotton worsted-wove cloth.
CoTTONADE — Stout cotton cloth in imitation
of woolen or worsted trousering.
Count — In spinning, the number given to
any thread or yarn (except silk) to
indicate its relative fineness, based on
the number of yards required to weigh
Counting Glass — A magnifying glass with
an aperture of defined size, which is a
multiple for counting the number of
threads to the inch or other unit.
Covert — A twill-woven woolen cloth,
sometimes with fulled face, sometimes
sheared to imitate whipcord ;
a short top coat.
CowES Coat — See Dinner Jacket.
Coxcomb — A pretentious, conceited dandy.
Crape — See Crepe.
Crape Cloth — A stout worsted fabric with
surface in imitation of silk crepe ; most
used for dress coats.
Crash — A strong, coarse linen cloth. '
Cravat — A necktie or scarf.
Cravenette — Cloths treated and finished
before weaving by an improved process
which renders them rainproof — a secret
process owned by the Cravenette
Company and B, Priestley & Co. of
England and United States.
Crepe — A light weight silk, silk-and-wool,
or all-wool cloth of slightly irregular
Crotch — Juncture of the two halves of a
Crowsfeet — A three-pointed embroidery
stitch, sometimes used in finishing
Cummerbund — A broad sash.
Cutaway (Frock) — A single-breasted coat
with Prince Albert back, the skirts of
which are cut away in front from waist
line to bottom of skirts behind.
Cutter — In tailoring, a designer of
garments. See Designer.
Damier — Large, square checks.
Dandy — A beau ; not quite a dude.
Deltoid Muscle — The pons asinonim of
Designer — One who conceives and makes
patterns for garments. See Cutter.
Diagonal — A worsted cloth with prominent
Dinner Jacket — An informal dres5 coat
without tails, somewhat like a sack, for
dinner wear, men's evening parties, but
not where ladies are present, as at balls,
operas, etc. Also called Cowes Coat
Doeskin — A compact twilled woolen, soft
Dog-Rabbiting — See Piecing-out.
Double Cloth — Two single cloths woven
in one structure.
Doublet — A sort of jacket; 15th to 17th
Drap — French word for cloth ; seldom
applied to cotton fabrics.
Drap d'Alma — A fine, close, flat-ribbed
twilled fabric of wool, or silk and wool,
finished on but one side.
Drap d'Ete — A fine, light worsted fabric,
woven in longitudinal cords.
Draper — A dealer in cloths ; also a
clothier, haberdasher or dry goods
Drawers — Undertrousers.
Dress — Indicating the manner in which a
man disposes himself in his trousers ;
as right and left dress.
Dress Coat — See Full Dress,
Drilling — General term for various
twilled cotton stuffs used for lining.
Sometimes called "drill."
Driving Coat — A coat designed for
protection or "style" when driving.
Duck — A sort of fine, firm canvas.
Dude — Indescribable.
Duster — A light overcoat of linen, mohair
or other thin fabric, once extensively
worn when traveling or driving.
Dyeing — The art and operation of coloring
textile fabrics by immersion in a
properly prepared bath ; dyes are chiefly
vegetable or aniline. See encyclopedia.
Ell — I % yards.
Elvsian — Overcoat cloth something like
but rougher than Chinchilla, straight
Epaulettes — Shoulder-straps.
EsTAMENE — Similar to Serge, but having a
rough, nappy face resembling cheviot.
Etamine — A light woolen cloth similar to
Batiste and Nun's Cloth.
Eton Jacket — A scant sack coat worn by
students at Eton.
Evening Dress — See Full Dress.
Faille Francaise — A soft, lustrous silk
fabric of wider cord than grosgrain, but
narrower than ottoman.
Farmer Satin — A lining of cotton chain
and wool filling, finished with high
lustre. Also called Italian cloth.
Fast Color — Applied to colors supposed
not to fade in washing or through
Fearnought — A heavy filled woolen fabric
used for sailors' overcoats and clothing ;
sometimes called dreadnought.
Fell — To turn in a seam.
Felt — A cloth of wool, hair, fur, etc., not
woven, but matted together.
Filibeg — The Highland kilt.
Filling — The woof or weft threads of a
Flannel — A soft, light-weight woolen
[ '5 ]
fabric of which the yarn is but slightly
Flannelette — A half-cotton or all-cotton
Flap — A limber hanging part.
Flap Pad — See pad and looney.
Flat Bound — Bound with flat braid.
Flock — Finely powdered woolen waste
used in finishing cheap woolens.
Fly — The front opening of a coat or
trousers, so made that the buttons do not
show through the outer face.
Fop — Cross between dandy and dude.
French Back — A false back worn to a
French Facing — The inside facing of a
coat, extending around the armholes.
French Seams — First sewed out the wrong
way and then turned in the right way
Frieze — A thick, shaggy, heavy nap woolen
Frock Coat — Properly the Prince Albert
coat ; also the cutaway.
Frog — Ornamental braided loop-and-button.
Front Falls — Trousers, not made with a
single fly opening, but with a wide front
flap, buttoning on both sides.
Full Box — Trade term for a very loose
effect in overcoats.
Full-Dress — Black "claw-hammer" coat,
low cut vest and trousers to match.
Fulled — Made thicker and more compact
[ «6 ]
Fur Beaver — A long-napped cloth
Gigging — Giving a nap to woolen cloths,
such as broadcloth, beaver, chinchilla,
Golf Coat — A red flannel coat for golf
playing, single breasted sack style.
Goose — A tailor's iron.
Gore — A triangular piece of cloth let into
a garment ; a gusset.
Great Coat — A heavy overcoat.
Grosgrain — A close-woven, finely ribbed
or corded silk fabric with but little
Guaranteed — See Warranted Clothing.
Guernsey — A close-fitting knitted woolen
Gusset — See gore.
Haberdasher — A dealer in men's
Haircloth — A lining woven of horsehair
for weft with cotton or linen warp.
Hairline — Very fine lines.
Havelock — The light covering, worn by
soldiers and tourists in hot countries.
hanging from a cap, behind the neck.
Halflined — Term applied to garments
only partially lined and partially
Hand-padded — Term referring to under-
collars, lapels and inside wadding worked
by hand instead of by machine.
Herringbone — A fishbone woven cloth.
HiGH-RisE — Term applied to trousers cut
high in the waist.
Hip Boots — Boots reaching to the hips.
Holland — A fine, stout, plain-woven
unbleached linen cloth, used for linings,
Homespun — Cloth woven at home on
hand-looms, or cloth made in imitation
of such cloth.
HopsACKiNG — A sort of home-spun
"in-and-out" woven fabric.
HousE-CoAT — A fancy lounging coat.
Hunting Coat — A short red cutaway;
Indigo — A deep blue dye obtained from
several plants of the genus Indigofera,
native of India and Asia and also found
in Africa and South America ; known
from most remote times.
Ingrain — Dyed in the yarn with fast
Inseam — The inner seam of the leg of a
pair of trousers ; sometimes also called
the "crotch seam" ; the forearm of the
Interlining — Placed between the outer
fabric and lining for purpose of shape,
Inverness — A long, loose overcoat with
cape, without sleeves, for full dress wear.
Irish Linen — Full bleached, fine, plain
woven linen, used for shirts, collars and
cuffs ; usually 36 inches wide.
Italian Cloth — A wool or wool and cotton
lining material, satin finished face.
Ivory Nut — The seed of a Venezuela
palm ; when dry is very hard and
resembles finest natural ivory in color
and texture ; made into buttons, etc.
Jacket — A short coat, usually not
extending to the knees. ,
Jean — A twilled undressed cloth with
cotton warp and wool filling or
sometimes all cotton.
Jerkin — A sort of waist-coat.
Jersey — Woolen stockinet ; a sort of
Jobber — One who purchases merchandise
in large lots and resells in smaller.
[ 19 ]
Job Lot — Term applied to odd lots of
merchandise set apart for sale at a
Join-Up — The process of sewing the two
halves of the coat or trousers together.
Jour — Workshop abbreviation for
journeyman ; q. v.
Journeyman — A graduate apprentice ; a
JouRY — A local familiar name applied to
Jumper — A workman's loose outerjacket or
Kaikai — A thin, cheap Japanese silk
Kersey — A heavy, closely woven cloth
with a smooth face and glossy finish.
Kerseymere — A fine twilled woolen cloth
of peculiar texture, one thread of warp
and two of weft being always above.
Khaki — A light yellow-brown colored cloth
used for army service uniforms in hot
Kilts — A plaited skirt, like a Highlander's.
Knee Breeches — Knickerbockers.
Knickerbocker — In weaving an effect
produced by rough knotted yarns ;
similar to boucle and bourette.
Knickerbockers — Knee breeches.
Knock-Kneed — Knees that turn inward
and rub against each other in walking.
Ladies-Cloth — A fine, wide flannel,
slightly napped ; similar to broadcloth.
Lap-Board — An oblong board, round at
the ends, laid on the lap of the workman,
upon which the seams and other parts of
the garment are pressed in the process
Lap Seams — Seams made by overlapping
or laying on, instead of turning in.
Lapel — The length of a dress-coat in
front, or from the gorge seam in front,
down to the waist seam ; the narrow
strip — square at the lower end and
angular at the upper end — which is
sewed to the front of double-breasted
coats ; the roll or "lay-over" of the front
of a coat.
Lapel-Seam — The seam caused by sewing
the back edge of the lapel strip to the
front edge of the fore part becomes the
Lasting — A strong, closely woven double
twill worsted fabric, mostly used for
buttons and shoe tops.
Laventine — A thin silk used for sleeve
Left-Dress — See Dress.
Leggin — A covering for the leg like a long
gaiter. A protector in cold or wet
weather or out-door sports.
Levantine — A stout twilled silk, each side
finished equally but of different colors.
Linen — General name for yarn spun and
cloth woven from the fiber of flax.
Lining — General term for materials used
for covering the inner side of a garment
or anything. In men's clothing usually
silk, Italian cloth, farmer's satin, serge,
silesia, brilliantine, etc.
Linsey-Woolsey — A stout flannel made
with linen warp and wool filling.
List — Selvedge.
Livery — The dress or uniform of servants.
Livery Cloth — See Boxcloth.
Logwood — The blue-black dye obtained
from the tree of that name.
Long Roll — Lapels pressed long and low
instead of high.
Longs — Trade term for ready-made
clothing cut to fit tall, thin men,
Looney — An oblong, flattened pad, used in
pressing and giving form to the collar,
lapels and shoulders of a coat.
Lounge Suit — A sack suit.
Lounging Robe — A long, loose house
Low-Necked — A garment is said to be
"low-necked" or "long-necked" when the
gorge in front is cut low.
Low-Shouldered — The extreme opposite
LusTERiNG — Process for giving to woolen
cloth a smooth, glossy surface that will
not roughen in wear.
LusTRENE — A thin twilled cotton lining
material ; finished with high luster in
imitation of silk.
Macaroni — Little better than a dude.
Mackintosh — A long, loose overcoat of
waterproof material ; for wear in stormy
Maco — Egyptian cotton.
Madder — A vegetable red dye.
Manipulated — Term applied to fabrics
which in weaving are mixed with some
inferior substance, as wool and cotton,
silk and cotton, etc.
Marseilles — A sort of figured pique.
Matelasse — A silk and wool or all-wool
brocade, usually employed for waistcoats.
Mauve — A reddish purple aniline dye.
Melange — A French word signifying
Melton — A stout woolen cloth, fulled,
sheared and finished without a nap — like
Kersey but without the gloss.
Mercerized — A term applied to cotton
fabrics of which the yarn is chemically
treated and the fabric finished by a
mechanical process, obtaining the
appearance and many of the qualities of
silk, more or less permanent. Named
after Mercer, discoverer of process.
Merchant — One who buys and sells
Merchant Tailor — See Tailor.
Merino — A thin woolen fabric made of the
fine wool of the Merino sheep, generally
used for ladies' wear, but also made into
vestings and underclothing for men's
Merveilleux — A twilled silk, of rather
soft texture, used for linings.
Mill Ends — Trade term referring to short
lengths, seconds, damaged pieces, etc.,
that accumulate in mills and are usually
sold at a nominal price.
Milling — The process of fulling or
Misfit — The term is a terror to tailors.
Mixture — General term for any melange
weave or effect.
Mocado — The mock velvet of the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries ; not now
Mode — The prevailing fashion or custom ;
a sort of ecru or tan color.
Mohair — A light, thin, shiny fabric of
enormous durability ; from the wool of
the Angora goat, found in Asia.
Moire — The watered effect produced upon
silk, moreen, etc.
[ M ]
Moleskin — A medium heavy twilled cotton
cloth, napped inside and printed outside.
MoMiE — French for mummy. A cloth of
puckered or fluted appearance.
MoN key-Jacket — A short jacket cut
in the sack form, fitting close
to the waist and flaring out at the
MoNTAGNAC — A heavy napped cloth, a
portion of the nap being woolly lobs, the
rest straight napped.
Mosey — An under-jacket, usually made
of baize or flannel, and worn instead of
an undershirt, usually under the vest,
but over the shirt in cold weather, but in
moderate or warm weather as an outside
garment, and is also called a "wammus."
Moths — Pests that make business for the
clothier and tailor, or disaster, according
to where they work.
MuNGo — See Shoddy.
Muslin — A cotton fabric of various
classes and names, all as bleached,
unbleached, twilled, cambric, book, mull,
longcloth, silesia and a number of
others ; used extensively in tailoring for
linings and interlinings.
Nail — 2% inches.
Nankeen — A peculiar fabric of a pale,
Where They Fail
It is much to know fine
clothing from poor, to be a judge
of values, to buy with taste. But
all this is nothing to knowing
how to make quick sales.
The best part of this
knowledge is the ability to
estimate an advertising
proposition; some fall short, for
instance, of realizing the
immense value of the
warranty; its very broadness
may stagger. There was a time
when merchants held up their
hands in horror at the
suggestion of giving money back
as a regular rule of business.
It is well to remember that
the only warranted clothing is
[ ^6 ]
dull orange color, woven out
of the fibrous tissue which
lies between the epidermis and the
sapwood of a tree or shrub which grows
in the East Indies and especially in
China. The name is derived from the
imperial city of Nankin or from the tree
or shrub which yields the tissue. An
imitation is made out of cotton and
colored with aleutta. The genuine
nankin is never more than eighteen or
twenty inches wide, and is used generally
for light summer trousers or for
Nap — The woolly surface of a fabric.
Nape — The starting point from which the
length and the shoulder measures are
taken for a coat. A vertebral
protuberance located on the back central
part of the neck at its junction with the
thorax or trunk.
Napier Cloth — A once-popular double-face
cloth for women's wraps, one side wool,
the other of hair.
Narrow Cloth — Trade term for fabrics
less than 29 inches wide ; wider cloths
Narrow-Fall — A small flap closing the
opening in the front of trousers, with
two or three button holes at the top and
corresponding buttons sewed on the
waist-bands, to which it was buttoned.
[ ^7 ]
Narrow-Bound — Very narrow binding,
distinguished from "medium-bound" or
Natte — French name for basket-weave
Neckcloth — Cravat.
Necktie — Correctly, a narrow band to be
tied in front.
Neckwear — General term for all sorts of
Needle — They are of various kinds, known
among tailors as silk-needles, thread-
needles, button-needles, basting-needles,
etc., and these again are known as
sharps, blunts, betweens, etc.
Neglige — Easy and informal dress ; a
Newmarket — A long, close-fitting overcoat
cut in the style of a frock coat ; a
Noil — Knots and short bits of wool taken
from the long staple in combing; waste
Norfolk Jacket — A single breasted sack
coat having two or three box plaits in
back, two in front and a belt of material.
Most used for hunting and outdoor
Notch-Collar — The distinguishing collar
of sack coats.
Nun's Cloth — A soft, firm, clinging
woolen fabric, light and strong ; entire
suit weighs but thirty-two ounces on an
Oil-Boiled — Trade term for colors so
treated, to insure permanence.
Oiled Silk — The plain silk boiled in oil
and dried, becoming translucent and
waterproof ; largely used as a perspiration
Oilskin — Cotton or linen prepared with oil
to make it waterproof ; a "slicker."
Old Man's Frock — A one-buton cutaway
frock coat, cut rather full in front.
Ottoman — A stout, lustrous silk fabric of
heavier cord than faille.
Ounce — In woolen trade refers to the
weight of a yard of cloth.
Outing Cloth — A sort of gingham.
Outing Suit — A lightweight summer suit,
usually of flannel.
Outlet — Allowance in seams for
increasing size of garments.
Overalls — Loose-fitting over-trousers of
duck, denim, etc.
Overcoat — A coat worn over one's other
clothes ; a top coat ; a great coat.
Overcoating — Fabrics woven specially for
overcoats — i. e., covert, kersey, melton,
beaver, frieze, vicuna, whipcord, cheviot,
chinchilla, montagnac, Shetland, elysian,
OvERGAiTER — A cloth covcring for the
upper part of the foot ; "spats."
[ 29 ]
OvERPLAiD — Apparently a larger plaid
woven on top of a smaller plaid or stripe
OvERSACK — An overcoat.
OvERSHiRT — An outer or top shirt.
Oversleeve — Separate sleeves of almost
any material worn by bookkeepers,
clerks, etc., to protect shirt or coat
Oxford Mixture — A black-and-white
mixed effect of varying shades of
Pad — A flat, compact cushion or mattress-
shaped implement laid upon the
lap-board or any other press-board
and used in "pressing-off" and giving
form and finish to a garment. Its
elasticity accommodates it to any
inequalities of the garment and therefore
the whole surface is reached by the
pressure of the iron and made smoother
and solider than it could be without
its use. See looney.
Padding — Felt, cotton or wool used for
giving shape to garments.
Paddock — A rather long, slightly form-
fitting overcoat, somewhat similar to
Pajamas — Loose trousers and blouse of
[ 30 ]
thin material, worn for sleeping or
Paletot — A long, loose overcoat.
Paneled Back — The inside back of a
coat made with broad facings of the
goods around seams and edges, and
filled in with (panels of) silk or other
Pantaloons — Tight-fitting trousers
buttoned at the ankles.
Panting — Cloth suitable for trousers.
Paring-Off — The process of paring-off
the surplus cloth along the margin of
a garment, when the edges are made
Paring-Shears — Shears or scissors made
expressly for paring the edges of
Paste — Formerly used to stiffen coats,
but now entirely obsolete.
Patch Pockets — Pockets made wholly
on the outside of a garment.
Patent Beaver — Similar to Castor
Beaver with more of a cloth finish.
Pea Jacket — A short coat of thick
closely woven cloth, worn in rough
Peau de Soie — Heavy, soft finished, plain
colored silk, woven in very fine ribs.
Peddler — A peripatetic merchant.
Pegtop — Trousers cut wide and full
around the hips and narrowing sharply
down to the ankle.
[ 31 ]
Pepper-and-Salt — A black-and-white or
grayish mixture, effected in weaving.
Percaline — A fine light-weight cotton
Perching — Examining and correcting
raw woolen cloth for and of knots, burs,
holes and other imperfections before
Petersham — A heavy woolen, woven or
felted kind of cloth for overcoating.
It has a rough, knotty surface, and is
sometimes called "nigger-head." A
very heavy, close-felted kind of this
cloth is also called "cordington" ; the
finer, softer kinds "chinchilla."
Pick — The number of threads within a
PiEciNG-OuT — The act of sewing together
the pieces, which sometimes occur in
the facings of garments, is called
"piecing them out." "Dograbbiting."
PiGEON-ToED — The toes inclining or
Pilot Cloth — A medium heavy, smooth,
blue cloth similar to Kersey or Beaver,
minus the nap.
Pink Coat — English name for red hunting
and golf coats.
Pin Check — A very fine small check.
Pin Rib — A very delicate rib or cord.
Piping — A covered cord for trimming,
applied along edges and seams.
Pique — A heavy cotton fabric having a
[ 3^ ]
surface that is corded or having a
raised lozenge pattern.
Plaid — Colored bars or stripes crossing
each other at right angles ; a tartan, a
Plait — A flattened fold or gather.
Ply — A fold or thickness.
P. M. — Premium money given clerks for
disposing of slow-selling goods.
Pockets — Things to carry things in.
Pongee — A homewoven plain silk.
Popinjay — A chattering coxcomb.
Pricked Edges — Backstitched by hand so
that no seam is apparent.
Prince Albert — A double-breasted, frock
coat, cut form-fitting.
Prunella — Lasting cloth.
Puttee — A legging that looks like a
Quadrille — Small squares or checks ;
Quilted Lining — A layer of cotton batting
faced on one or both sides with silk,
satin or other cloth, and sewed together
or quilted in fancy patterns.
[ 33 I
Raglan — A loose overcoat, the sleeves of
which are continued over the shoulders
up to the collar. Named after Lord
Raglan, who devised a similar garment
for the protection of his soldiers
during the Crimean war, the idea being
to increase their fighting efficiency by
the greater freedom of action afforded
by the peculiar shoulder.
Rain Coat — A mackintosh or waterproof
Raw Edges — Open edges of the goods ;
not turned in.
Raw Seams — See Raw Edges.
Raye — French textile term for pattern of
delicate stripes or narrow lines.
Redingote — A double breasted outside
coat with long plain skirts ; a French
corruption of the English riding coat.
Reefer — A short round coat or jacket.
Regular — Clothing trade term for normal
or standard sizes, from which longs,
stouts, slims, etc., are variations.
Repellent — A sort of waterproof cloth
of wool, wool-and-cotton or all cotton.
Rever — A turned back lapel or cuff.
RiGBY Cloth — A sort of waterproof cloth,
Right Dress — See Dress.
Roll Collar — A plain collar without
[ 34 1
peak or notch ; a show collar.
Roundabout — A short jacket reaching to
Rowing Shirt — A low-necked shirt with
very large deep armholes.
Rubber Cloth — Usually cotton sheeting
or drilling with a coating of rubber
on one side ; used for mackintoshes and
sometimes for interlining ulsters.
Rug — A traveling shawl or blanket.
Sabretache — A leather pocket hung from
the left side of the sword hilt ; a
Sack — A business coat with pockets,
made single and double breasted ; a
loose Chesterfield overcoat.
Saddle Seams — Sewn as saddlers sew
Salesman — Masculine of saleslady.
Sash — A waist-scarf.
Sateen — A close twilled cotton fabric,
soft and glossy ; used for linings, etc.
Satin — A silk fabric having a very high
luster on its face.
Satin Rhadame — A lustrous silk satin,
the face crossed and broken by fine
twilled lines, extending diagonally
across the web.
Satinet — A cheap clothing material
similar to cassimere, made with a
cotton warp and a filling of short,
inferior or shoddy wool, which is mixed
with enough long wool to enable it to
be spun and woven in a way to bring
the filling to the surface of the cloth ;
afterwards fulled, sheared and the
pattern printed on the face.
Scarf — A cravat.
ScHAPPE — Silk fabrics woven of waste
and damaged cocoons.
Schooner Pants — Spring bottoms, after
the sailor style.
Scotch Mixtures — Hard to describe ; if
you don't know ask a woolen house
ScYE — The arm hole of a garment.
Seams — That part of the fabric used in
Selvedge — The web edge of cloth ; list.
Serge — A fine diagonal twilled worsted —
both all-worsted and with a worsted
warp and "woolen" filling.
Serge — A lining of cotton or linen warp
and wool or mohair filling, woven
Shawl — A square cloth wrap.
Shawl Collar — A rounding collar
without notches ; see roll-collar.
Shepherd Check — Tiny checks, usually
black and white.
Shetlands— Very shaggy overcoating,
named from the Shetland pony, the coat
[ 36 ]
of which it is supposed to imitate in
Shirtwaist — A test of masculine
fortitude during the summer of 1901.
Shoddy — Waste thrown off in spinning;
shredded rags and bits of cloth to be
manipulated into new cloth ; a cheap
Shooting Coat — A sack coat of corduroy,
duck, etc., with capacious pockets,
used by sportsmen.
Shooting Jacket — See shooting coat.
Shop — Store.
Short Stout — Trade term for garments
built for short, stout people.
Shrink — To contract or take up all loss
of length ; to sponge.
Shroud — The last garment we wear.
Sicilian — A plain-woven mohair fabric ;
see Brilliantine ; Mohair.
Silesia — A light close-woven fine-twilled
cotton lining fabric.
Singe — To remove the warp from textile
fabrics by fire or heat.
Sizes — Trade term for an assortment or
a range of sizes and shapes.
Skating Jacket — A short snug-fitting coat.
Skeleton — Term applied to a coat
made without lining.
Skirt — The lower or hanging part of a
Slims — Trade term for garments designed
for slim people.
[ 37 ]
Small Falls — See narrow-falls and
Smalls — Close fitting knee breeches.
Smoking Jacket — A fancy coat for
house (smoking) wear.
Sock — Much less euphonious than hose,
Soft Roll — Lapel or front of coat made
without stiffening and lightly pressed
into a long roll.
Spatterdash — A sort of overgaiter or
Spencer — A very short overcoat not
fully covering the undercoat.
Spiff — Premium or bonus.
Splay-Footed — Toes turning outward.
Sponge— To dampen for ironing, pressing
or cleaning or preparatory to cutting;
Stable Suit — A stable uniform.
Staple — The fibre of any material, as
long or short, staple, wool or cotton.
Stays — Corsets.
Stock — A twice around the neck dressing.
Stockinet — A plain, elastic texture
made on a knitting frame.
Stocking — Hose.
Storm Coat — A rain-proof coat ;
Stouts — Trade term for garments made
for stout persons.
Strap Seams — Seams with a strip of
cloth laid over.
Surah Silk — Twilled similar to woolen
[ 38 ]
SuRTOUT — An overcoat cut in the style
of a frock coat.
Swallowtail — See Full Dress.
Swap — Lost customer.
Sweater — A tight-fitting, ribbed, knitted
jacket or skirt.
Swell — A supposedly ultra-fashionable
Tailor — One who makes clothes.
Tailor-to-the-Trade — A manufacturer
who makes clothes on mail orders.
Tartan — A Scotch plaid.
Tests — Process for determining quality,
strength, color, etc.
Tete de Negre — "Niggerhead."
Thibet — More elastic and softer than
Melton, not so nappy as Cheviot,
Topcoat — A light overcoat.
Tricot — A double-twill cloth, having
both a warp and a filling effect.
Trousers — Garments for the lower
limbs ; widely, but erroneously, known
Trunk Hose — Knee tights ; swimming
Tuck — A flat fold in a fabric ; your wife
will show you the difference between
[ 39 ]
a tuck and a plait.
Turn-Over — The turned in extremity
of trouser legs and sleeves.
Turn-Up — The bottom of trousers.
Tuxedo — See Dinner Jacket.
Tw^EED — An open, soft, flexible twilled
cloth, closely spun and finely woven,
but slightly fulled.
Twilled — Woven in such manner as
to produce lines or ribs diagonally or
across the surface of the fabric.
Ulster — A long, loose, heavy overcoat
for rough weather wear.
Undercoat — The body-coat.
Undercollar — The under side of a
collar ; usually, but not necessarily, of
Unfinished Worsted — A soft dull
finished cloth, slight nap.
Uniform — Livery distinguishing the
members of some military, naval or
civil body, or employes of clubs,
Uniform Cloth — Cloth suitable for
uniforms ; usually a stout fulled woolen
cloth, similar to Kersey.
Union Cassimere — Of a quality with
satinet, but with a woven instead of
Velvet — A closely woven silk material
with short thick pile on one side.
Velveteen — Cotton velvet.
Venetian — A cloth milled and cropped
bare in finishing.
Vent — An outlet ; q. v.
Vest — See waistcoat.
Vestment — An ecclesiastical garment.
Vicuna — A soft twilled cloth similar
to Cheviot, made of the wool of the
Wadding — The tailor's expedient for
making a lanky customer look well in
the eyes of his girl and fellow
creatures ; see Padding.
Waistcoat — Vulgarly a "vest."
Wale — A ridge or streak rising above
surface of cloth, running entire length
Walking Coat — A compromise between
a single breasted sack and a cutaway
frock, more nearly resembling the
latter, but shorter and with pocket
flaps on hips.
Wammus — A sort of Cardigan jacket,
[ 41 ]
a mosey ; also spelled wamuss.
Warp — The threads which are extended
lengthwise in the loom and crossed
by the filling or weft ; sometimes called
the chain or end.
Warranted Clothing — Only made by
Cahn, Wampold & Co.
Waterproof — A textile so treated, by
rubber or chemicals or otherwise,
that it repels instead of absorbing
water. See Cravenette.
Weft — The woof or filling of a fabric ;
the threads that cross the warp from
selvage to selvage.
Wellingtons — Boots, covering the knee
but cut away behind.
Welt Seams — See lap seams.
WkiPCORD — A worsted cloth having a
small prominent twill.
WiGAN — A very stiff, open, canvas
interlining used for giving shape to
Woof — The threads that cross the warp
in weaving ; the weft ; filling.
Woolens — Name of fabrics of carded
wool ; usually soft woven.
Worsteds — Name of fabrics of combed
wool ; usually hard woven.
[ 41 ]
Yacht Cloth — A flannel heavier than
ordinary flannel or serge, price dyed.
Yarn — Thread for knitting or weaving.
Yoke — A band or cross piece to which
other parts of garment are attached.
Yoke Coat — A coat with a yoke.
Zouave Jacket — A short jacket reaching
about to the waist, and cutaway in
t 43 ]
This being incomplete the Editor is desirous
of hearing from those who know of other
definitions overlooked, or of errors in this
Some credit is due to "Cole's Dictionary of
Dry Goods," some to "The American Tailor
and Cutter," some to Mrs. Alice Morse Earle,
et al, but most largely to the people in the store
and in the work shop — the people who make and
use the lingo.
Consists of a series of brief booklets on
clothes making, clothes knowledge and
clothes selling, of which this is the
second issue, the same preceded by
/. Warranted Clothing
A new edition of a little book of which
we have already distributed over 20,000
copies; contains much new matter.
And these will be followed by
///. Advertising Phrases
By William Henry Baker, manager of
our advertising department.
Reprinted from Chat^ with various
additions^ and properly classified.
IF. Sartor Historicus
Historical matter from Chat and other
V. Good Things from Chat
A republication of some of the best
original and reprint matter that
appeared in Chat from November 1900
to October 1901.
Other issues will be announced later
Price 5 Cents Per Copy
except volume i which is sent free
One copy of each volume will be sent free of
charge to customers, as issued. Others desiring
them are requested to send the price.
Cahn, Wampold & Co.
The only warranted
clothing — it's safe.
This garment warranted to give satisfactory servi
Cahn, Wampold & C<
Makers — Chicago
This is the label of safety.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS